West Coast coach Adam Simpson is at a loss over how the club can cure Luke Shuey’s soft tissue woes, but says they will keep exploring options in a bid to come up with a solution.
Shuey will spend another frustrating stint on the sidelines after straining a hamstring during Saturday night’s 37-point AFL win over Port Adelaide.
The 30-year-old missed the first two rounds with a hamstring strain, and he was hampered by a calf issue over summer.
Shuey also injured both of his hamstrings in a game against Essendon last year among other soft-tissue complaints he has suffered in recent seasons.
“I think it’s something he’s done before which feels like it’s going to be a standard 21 dayer,” Simpson said of the latest setback.
“We’ve tried every different program under the sun so we’ll just keep going back to the drawing board until we get it right.
“We’ve just got to dig a bit deeper, not sure how how much we can dig. We’ve dug pretty deep.
“It’s tough. Injuries happen. You’ve got to be pretty resilient in this competition.
“We’ve just got to put our arms around him and there’s worse things in the world. But he’s dealing with it.”
Shuey starred against Port Adelaide with 28 disposals and eight clearances off limited game time.
His absence for Saturday’s clash with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium will leave a huge hole in a West Coast midfield still missing Elliot Yeo.
But a big positive to come out of the win over Port was the return to form of Andrew Gaff, who tallied a game-high 36 disposals after averaging just 16 touches across the opening two rounds.
“We did nothing (different), he just played his normal role,” Simpson said.
“People come up and down in form a little bit. I just let him do his thing, it wasn’t really anything from an instructional point of view.”
Port Adelaide booted just two goals in the first half and trailed by a whopping 52 points at the main break.
Power coach Ken Hinkley rued his team’s lack of hunt at the contest in the first half, and is looking for a markedly improved performance when they host Richmond in a Friday night blockbuster.
“The bonus is you’re playing Richmond, because they’ve been the premiers three of the last four years,” Hinkley said.
“There’s no bigger game that you want to play well in and test yourself in. We failed tonight. We don’t want to fail twice.”
The Tigers are also licking their wounds after suffering a shock 45-point loss to Sydney.